Date of Award
Bin Ramke, Ph.D.
Literary pastoralism, Psychedelic plants, William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, Aldous Huxley
My Masters thesis offers literary pastoralism as a viable entry into the conversation on psychedelic plants and their use in mind-alteration by the industrialized West. I will, first, establish that the ancient pastoral tradition can be related to the existence of psychedelic plants, and that the use of such plants has inspired a deeper communion with various levels of the natural world. Next, my analysis focuses on parallels between pastoral literature and accounts of psychedelic hallucinations, which are often comprised of ultra-pastoral visions of landscapes, arabesques, and even cosmic space. These similarities suggest that psychedelic plants initiate a peculiar and remarkable pastoral encounter with what becomes a non-natural, industrial reality. The question of obtaining a more cerebral relationship to an abandoned natural world is examined in literary figures including William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, and Aldous Huxley. A review of the ties between the cerebral and the natural throughout these authors' psychedelic and pastoral works will open our own 21st century doors of perception to a new literary mode uniting the two disciplines.
Buck, Amy Nicole, "An Introduction to the Psychedelic Pastoral: Tracing Mind-Altering Plant Life into the Modern Industrialized West" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1154.
Received from ProQuest
Amy Nicole Buck